From the loss side, Villalobos downs Yu in Predator Pro Am final to win his first stop on tour
Skip Maloney
Oct. 29, 2018
(l to r): Rene Villalobos, Elvis Rodriguez, Amy Yu & Paul Carpenter
(l to r): Rene Villalobos, Elvis Rodriguez, Amy Yu & Paul Carpenter
When Rene Villalobos stepped to the tables during the Oct. 27-28 stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, he hadn’t cashed in a Predator event in over two and half years. In his last previous outing (March, 2016), he finished as runner-up to Arturo Reyes, who came within two matches of meeting him in this most recent semifinal. He had also yet to win a stop on the tour since he began competing in 2009. Villalobos’ battle for the hot seat in this most recent event was spoiled by the tour’s #2-ranked female and #2-ranked C+ player, Amy Yu. He returned from the semifinals to down Yu in the finals and claim the title. The $1,000-added event drew 76 entrants to Spin City Billiards in Queens, NY.
 
Villalobos and Yu advanced to the winners’ side semifinals, with Villalobos pitted against Elvis Rodriguez, and Yu facing Paul Carpenter. Yu sent Carpenter to the loss side 7-5, as Villalobos sent Rodriguez over 8-2. Yu claimed the hot seat 7-2 and waited on Villalobos’ return.
 
On the loss side, Carpenter and Rodriguez met up with Paul Lyons and Arturo Reyes, respectively. Lyons had downed Bob Toomey 7-4 and Ryan Dayrit 7-3 to reach Carpenter. Reyes had eliminated last week’s tour stop winner, Matthew Harricharan 7-4 and in a double hill battle, Bryan Toolsee.
 
Carpenter and Lyons locked up in double hill fight that eventually sent Carpenter to the quarterfinals. Rodriguez downed Reyes 7-2 to join him. At the start of those quarterfinals, a handicap advantage for Rodriguez gave Carpenter ‘five on the wire’ in a race to 10. Carpenter added two to his initial five, while Rodriguez chalked up the 10 he needed to advance to the semifinals.
 
Villalobos duplicated his effort against Rodriguez in the winners’ side semifinal and defeated him again 8-2. Villalobos, in a potentially extended race-to-11 final, chalked up the nine he needed to defeat Yu 9-4 and claim the event title.
 
A Second Chance event drew 11 entrants and saw Max Watanabe down Duc Lam in the finals to claim that title. Matthew Klein downed Marisol Palacios in the finals of a Third Chance event that drew eight entrants.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff of Spin City Billiards for hosting the event, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine, Billiards Digest and offered special thanks, as well, to tour assistants Thomas Schreiber, Marisol Palacios and Ambi Estevez
 
Though not an official stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, Robles’ Silent Assassin Productions will present the $12,000-added, 5th Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships, sponsored by Michael Fedak on the weekend of Nov. 3-4. The event will feature five divisions of play – Men’s Leisure,   Women’s Leisure, Mixed Open, Mixed Advanced, Mixed Masters and Grand Masters (Pro). The $12,000-added will be divided proportionately among the five divisions. The next regular stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 17-18, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens.